DIY Swedish Punsch

[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]

The traditional way to serve Swedish Punsch is to warm it and pair it with a bowl of pea soup. Though that didn't exactly catch on in the States, Swedish Punsch is a key ingredient in many pre-Prohibition cocktails because of its funky, spiced flavor.

Notes: Swedish punch is traditionally made with gold rum and Batavia Arrack, a southeastern Asian liquor made from sugar cane and red rice. Because Batavia Arrack is hard to find, I've substituted cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made with fermented and distilled sugarcane juice. Gold rum doesn't add much flavor, and many traditional recipes omit it, so I skipped it to make the recipe simpler.

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DIY Swedish Punsch

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:2 days
Special equipment:Cheesecloth, fine-mesh strainer
This recipe appears in: DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Swedish Punsch

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom pod, crushed
  • 1 cup cachaça
  • 1 Darjeeling (or similar) tea bag
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Procedures

  1. 1

    Cut the lemon into thin slices and remove the seeds. Place entire slices in a sealable glass jar with the clove and crushed cardamom pod and add the cachaça. Seal and shake. Let the infusion sit for one day in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

  2. 2

    Steep the tea bag in the hot water for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the sugar to the hot tea, and mix into a syrup. Let cool.

  3. 3

    Pour the infused cachaça through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Mix the infusion with the tea syrup. Let the mixture rest overnight. Store in a sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 months.

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